Nigeria calls for united action on cable damage at WATRA meeting

Nigeria calls for united action on cable damage at WATRA meeting

Nigeria has called for a coordinated and multilateral approach by the West African region to protect shared telecommunications infrastructure and diversify connectivity to ensure uninterruptible connections – with particular reference to submarine cables.

A report in the Premium Times news service says that the executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Aminu Maida, made the proposal (through a representative) at the 21st West Africa Telecommunications Regulatory Assembly (WATRA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) held recently in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

WATRA works with national telecommunication regulatory authorities in 16 member states in West Africa.

Mr Maida apparently stated that the recent submarine cable cuts that resulted in nationwide outages on multiple networks in 12 African countries raised the need for the sub-region to establish a mechanism to protect itself from damage to submarine infrastructure and its impact on countries in the area.

He referred to a report that suggested that about six countries, including four in West Africa, were still suffering from the outages caused by the submarine cable cuts and added that securing telecom infrastructure is paramount for fostering foreign direct investment and enhancing investor confidence in West Africa.

He was quoted as proposing  "the urgent need to set up a framework for joint monitoring, risk mitigation and emergency response procedures for the submarine cables that pass through the sub-region”.

The cable cuts first happened just under two weeks ago. While repairs are likely to take time it does seem that, as we reported, there has been enough alternative capacity via other routes to manage demand for now.

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